Sherry and Spanish tapas in London

by Bernadette Fallon

Sherry sales enjoyed a resurgence last year. Once the tipple of maiden aunts (speaking as one myself, as well as the proud owner of a beautiful set of vintage sherry glasses), everyone put it down to the ‘Downton’ effect. We’ll have what Maggie Smith’s having basically.

One man you won’t find making the connection between Downton Abbey and sherry is Richard Bigg, owner of Camino Spanish tapas restaurants in London. A fan of sherry long before Smith asked ‘What is a weekend?’, his love of sherry led him to set up the UK’s first sherry bar, Bar Pepito, in London’s King’s Cross a few years ago.

Love stories figure prominently in his career, his love affair with Spain led him to launch Camino Spanish tapas restaurants across the capital – in King’s Cross (opposite Pepito’s), Canary Wharf and Monument, with a fourth opening near St Paul’s this year. Sadly the love affair with the woman who accompanied him on his first trip to Spain didn’t last long enough to get them across the country in his Mini. But channelling that passion into bringing great Spanish food and drink back home has been to UK foodies’ advantage.

Camino’s is a pretty cool place to hang-out, with friendly staff who really know their stuff and are passionate about the food they are serving. And what food! On the night I went to Canary Wharf for tapas – nice terrace right on the river, brilliant for summer but you’d even chance it on a chilly spring night with your coat on – we ate (vegetarians look away please) rare cuts of Iberico black pig shoulder cooked on a charcoal grill, sautéed tiger prawns, crisp-fried baby squid, chicken skewers, chorizo, black rice with cuttlefish and squid ink and 28oz rib-eye steak on the bone which had been dry-aged for 35-days. Tapas sharing plates range from £2.25 to £9.75, platters from £9.75, steaks from £13.50.

We drank rich Spanish reds, white Rioja (yep, that’s right), silky dessert wine and – of course – sherry. And it turns out the maiden aunts have had it wrong all those years, far from being something to drink on its own, sherry is actually perfect to have with food. Richard recommends the Gonzalez Byass Amontillado sherry with almond and hazelnut notes (available from good independent wine shops or of course at Bar Pepito, where they’ll sell you a bottle for £11 to take home, or £4.95 by the glass in the bar or at any branch of Camino).

Serve it with cheeses and cured meats – if you’ve got a good deli near you try Cecina, air-dried beef from Salamanca, Valdeon blue cheese croquetas or Gilda – which is a skewer of pickled anchovy, chilli, black olive and cherry tomato. You could even try making that one yourself.

Apparently Richard takes his restaurant staff on a trip to Spain twice a year, where they eat great food and drink fine wines and sherry, looking for new inspiration and menu ideas for Camino. Sounds like a great job. My CV is in the post.

For Camino locations and opening times, visit

Spanish tapas recipes to try
Have a look at some of our easy Spanish tapas recipes or try this tasty roast garlic tapas recipe, perfect with a basket of bread. And a sherry of course

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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